I’m in Tétouan, Morocco, and the love of my life might be here, too.
He’s a writer, maybe. Maybe a painter. Maybe both. Some creative, reclusive type. He works hard at a button-up job that’s fulfilling enough nine months a year so that he can spend long summers doing what he really loves. He rents lonely cottages in foreign villages and empty hillsides and out-of-the-way small towns where he writes things most people won’t ever read or paints things most people won’t ever see.
Everyone wish Hamburg and me a happy anniversary! It’s just a couple days shy of 8 months and I STILL don’t hate it. I’m not sure if this city really is that great, or if I’m just getting older, or if maybe there’s something in the water here, but whatever it is, I’m still pretty content. And if you know me, you know I usually hit my Over It stage by month six, so this is kind of a big deal.
Despite having been here a while, there’s still a ton of new things I’m learning and discovering, so here you go: an 8-month-mark list of my thoughts, feelings, and observations about Hamburg.
I’m in Stockholm and the love of my life might be here, too.
He’s the kind of guy that wears eyeglasses because they look cool, not because he can’t see, and turtlenecks, and boots without laces, and long pea coats. I roll my eyes when he glances as his reflection in one too many mirrors we pass on our first date, and call him a pretty boy—which he is—but he’s more than that, too.
I’m living in Hamburg and the love of my life might be, too.
He’s tall and bearded and named something very German like Moritz or Nils or Jan. Much like my French soulmate, he’s a man of the arts. He loves poetry and painting and even dabbles in pottery. We go to an arts and crafts store on our first date and I know right then that it’s true love.
November 1st marked mine and Hamburg’s 3-month anniversary, and like most relationships still in the honeymoon phase, it woos me more every day. Summer wasted NO time getting lost, but I have a renewed appreciation for fall. Living in New York City for so long, I think I forgot how beautiful trees are in abundance, especially when the leaves are all orange-y and yellow-y and falling all over the place. It’s cold now, and gloomy, most days, but very atmospheric so that definitely makes up for it. I’ll tell you if I’m still feeling this dreamy when winter officially settles in.
Anyway, here are my thoughts, impressions, and revelations on Hamburg after 3 months.
And I’m happy.
Mom says maybe this is my place, and maybe she’s right. It’s been less than two months but I’ve met amazing people and feel like I’m apart of a family that reminds me so much of my own.
I’ve explored, danced until my body hurt, laughed until I cried. I’ve cried. Especially for what isn’t, and have been comforted by what is.
I’ve fallen in love with a combination of green grass, colorful lights, and classical music. With a Japanese garden. With strawberry gelato (No, wait. I was already in love with strawberry gelato!). With baby talk and dress up and counting to ten. With head wraps and accents and even oddly curious stares.
Mochas have never tasted better. Franzbrötchen slid into my favorites as if it’s been there the whole time. And Skippy isn’t the only edible brand of peanut butter after all.
I’ve learned how to knit. A boy gave me poetry. A baby gave me a nickname that’s the best thing since “Breezly”.
So yeah, maybe this is my place. But even if isn’t, I’m so grateful for it anyway.
We’ll call the guy Ace and the girl Olivia. I messaged them both, starting with Olivia. Just a friendly, “Hey, Olivia!” She got back to me right away, welcoming me to Hamburg, asking how long I’ve been here and what brings me. Then, after a short conversation, she went quiet.
It was all good, though, because I still had Ace to chat with. He mentioned attending university in the States in his profile, my perfect in. I said hello and we chatted a bit about his time abroad and other places he’d visited. Of course, the conversation shifted to my move to Hamburg, how I like it here, and me getting a good grasp on the language. Ace suggested I help him with his English and he can help me with my German (good one, Ace).
I’ve been treading the Tinder waters for a few days now and I’m happy to say that I’m knee-deep in potential Tinder friends! But I won’t say SUCK IT to naysayers just yet. Not until I’ve got one of ’em locked down for good (locked down in my friendship, of course).
AKA what I’m trying to do right now.
And when I say friends, I mean JUST friends. Friends sans benefits.